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Arsenal dig in to deny Liverpool in first leg despite Granit Xhaka red card

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He appeared to require a miracle too when Granit Xhaka’s latest red card gave Liverpool 66 minutes plus five minutes of stoppage time to seize control of the Carabao Cup semi-final.

Mikel Arteta needed a show of character from Arsenal at a ground where they have displayed little in recent years.

He received both, and more, as Arsenal produced a tireless display to stifle Jürgen Klopp’s team at Anfield.

There is a long way to go in this semi-final but the reaction to the final whistle demonstrated where the advantage lies, and who departed the first leg with greater belief.

He connected with the Liverpool forward’s chest instead and the referee, Michael Oliver, immediately brandished the fifth red card of Xhaka’s Arsenal career.

That policy had to be abandoned, however, when Xhaka was shown a straight red card for denying Diogo Jota a clear goalscoring opportunity, while volleying him in the ribs for good measure.

The miscued clearance dropped to Minamino in front of an open goal.
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